[sing-kuh-pey-tid, sin-]


marked by syncopation: syncopated rhythm.
cut short; abbreviated.

Origin of syncopated

1655–65; < Late Latin syncopāt(us) (see syncopate) + -ed2
Related formsun·syn·co·pat·ed, adjective


[sing-kuh-peyt, sin-]

verb (used with object), syn·co·pat·ed, syn·co·pat·ing.

  1. to place (the accents) on beats that are normally unaccented.
  2. to treat (a passage, piece, etc.) in this way.
Grammar. to contract (a word) by omitting one or more sounds from the middle, as in reducing Gloucester to Gloster.

Origin of syncopate

First recorded in 1595–1605, syncopate is from the Medieval Latin word syncopātus (past participle of syncopāre to shorten by syncope). See syncope, -ate1
Related formssyn·co·pa·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for syncopated

Contemporary Examples of syncopated

  • To us, it is the contemporary sound through which new and old truths explode in syncopated revelation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Broadway Was Made for Tupac

    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Marcyliena Morgan

    July 7, 2014

Historical Examples of syncopated

  • The "time-step" and "break" must be perfectly timed to the syncopated rhythm.

  • He is about to give us something American: to sing and dance to syncopated melody.

    Nights in London

    Thomas Burke

  • If you can set his work to syncopated time he seems never to tire of it.

    The Railroad Problem

    Edward Hungerford

  • Upstairs a piano took up the refrain in a thin, syncopated echo.

    Stover at Yale

    Owen Johnson

  • Every voice was independent, and syncopated as were the rhythms.

    Franz Liszt

    James Huneker

British Dictionary definitions for syncopated


verb (tr)

music to modify or treat (a beat, rhythm, note, etc) by syncopation
to shorten (a word) by omitting sounds or letters from the middle
Derived Formssyncopator, noun

Word Origin for syncopate

C17: from Medieval Latin syncopāre to omit a letter or syllable, from Late Latin syncopa syncope
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for syncopated



c.1600, from Late Latin syncopatus, past participle of syncopare "to shorten," also "to faint away, to swoon," from Late Latin syncope (see syncope). Originally "to shorten words by omitting syllables or letters in the middle;" musical sense is from 1660s. Related: Syncopated; syncopating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper